Barry McNamara  |   Published August 07, 2016

High ‘Standards’

Monmouth’s Kappa Kappa Gamma chapter wins national award
  • Pictured at the convention in San Diego are, from left, chapter advisers Michelle Merritt ’89 and Gena Alcorn ’88, chapter president Jessica Irons ’17 of Abingdon, Ill., membership chair Aubrey Cook ’17 of Monmouth, adviser Jennifer Rice ’12 and public relations chair Kelsey Burkholder ’18 of Kalamazoo, Mich.
Monmouth College’s Alpha Deuteron of Kappa Kappa Gamma brought home a prestigious award and several honorable mentions from the 71st Bienniel Convention, held in San Diego in June.

The Monmouth chapter was presented the Standards Award, given to chapters in four size categories with the best comprehensive standards programming, ensuring “positive Kappa attitudes and individual responsibility.”

In addition to the Standards Award, the chapter received honorable mention for: Chapter/Advisory Board Relations, Panhellenic, Ritual and Heritage, as well as the Patsy Bredwick Levang Philanthropy Award.

Chapter president Jessica Irons ’17 of Abingdon, Ill., who received the Standards Award at the convention, said, “This is one area our chapter has been striving to improve upon for many years, so winning this award gave us gratification that we are doing things right.”

Irons credited Arianna Keleher ’17 of Orion, Ill., the chapter’s 2015-16 standards chair, for creating the inspirational acronym “PAC,” which stands for professionalism, accountability and confidentiality.

“Our committee and our chapter keep ‘PAC’ in mind at all times,” Irons said. “We remain professional during all committee meetings, we are holding our members and ourselves accountable, and we are keeping interactions with members confidential. It was also noted by the award presenter that we are improving by providing a culture of caring throughout our organization. Our committee has realized that our job and No. 1 goal is to support our sisters while keeping our values in mind. We are doing a great job of mentoring sisters and matching them with college and Greek resources when needed. I think this support system for sisters is really what Greek Life is all about.”

Monmouth associate director of student involvement and fraternity and sorority life Billy Bernard saluted the women of Kappa Kappa Gamma for their exemplary year.

“Earning the Standards Award demonstrates that Kappa Kappa Gamma is focused on enhancing the experience of their members to be in line with their organizational values,” he said. “Receiving honorable mention in four areas of chapter operations is a testament to effective chapter leadership and advising, and tells us that the women are working hard to accomplish their goals.”

The first chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma was founded at Monmouth College in 1870. Irons said she is proud of that history, and she was honored to represent Monmouth at the convention.

“The convention has given me so much appreciation for my organization and for Greek Life as a whole,” she said. “I was reminded many times why I went Greek, and why I joined Kappa Kappa Gamma. I was taught how to be a better leader, and I was reminded why our philanthropy, Reading Is Fundamental, is such a great organization. Most importantly, I learned that Kappa sisters, near and far, are forever.”
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